Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
TITLE: My African Experience
By Charla Diehl
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Since these events occurred,
But I promise you, dear readers,
An honest account in every word.
Through work my husband earned a trip--
Including a Marrakech excursion,
So we boarded a plane to Morocco,
And now you’ll hear my version.
Pungent odors stung my nose
As poverty stabbed my eyes.
Scrawny boys at work too young--
Gawking rudely, inside I cried.
Sunken stares met with mine
From their candle lit dirt “shops”,
Carving and sanding items
For the tourists that would stop.
Tents offered woven baskets,
Jewelry beaded by tired hands,
The market square was massive,
And I did not understand.
I trespassed on their customs
In ignorance of where I was,
And when I saw a photo opt
My camera clicked because--
But photos of my subjects
Were forbidden I soon guessed,
Since flashes from my camera
Made them anxious and distressed.
As the tour wore sadly on
My eyes were opened wide,
Neediness draped their culture,
But they carried on with pride.
Our evening experience
Sharply contrasted to the day,
Smiling faces greeted us
As we dined their music played.
Their spicy food, I didn’t like
The music--foreign to my ear,
I guess I didn’t welcome
The life of people here.
I yearned for America
And the blessings there awaiting,
Little girl hugs, home-cooked meals,
Freedom to be self-educating.
A vacation--no, not this time--
I never said it was,
Each memory I recall
Makes me grateful, just because.
Author’s note: In 1978 my husband won a trip to the Canary Islands, but my vivid memories are wrapped around this experience.
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